Letter: 2023: the new year is before us

One of our major community challenges is front and centre: homelessness

2023: the new year is before us

During all the celebrations and cheers one of our major community challenges is front and centre: homelessness.

We each tend to function within our individual social networks. This leads to fragmented attitudes and often lends itself to the blame game. History tells us this is non productive and destructive.

This overview of some of the core perceptions is meant to provide a window; keep in mind for my opinion to be right does not mean yours has to be wrong.

Participants in education, social services, health care and first responders are weary as they strive to provide the services that their professions require. Unfortunately, all too often rebuffed and criticized in the process.

Politicians at all levels are torn as they attempt to represent all citizens between providing balanced budgets, protecting and preserving public services, as well as assisting the disadvantaged.

Businesses and tourism striving to survive in this economically challenging times.

Non profits, churches, donors, volunteers the list goes on of organizations that daily struggle to meet demands that all too often exceed their grasp.

The homeless, they are a diverse community themselves. Each with individual stories that seem to have no answers. Some wanting assistance while others reject it, some respecting others while some do not. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, as a result of their internal struggles and resulting actions, instantly this creates mixed feelings about advocating for their cause.

Our community has an increased level of emotions fear, anger, enabling, entitlement, anxiety, disappointment, lost, hurt, which all are crashing against one another.

How is an equitable resolution possible? Let’s look at sports. In order to prevent chaos, there are agreed upon parameters of respect, rules for the game including penalties for infractions. The homeless issue requires commitment from all sides based on reasonable expectation with defined rights and responsibilities.

How we reach this ideal proposition is the question of the day?

On a more positive note, each of us could involve ourselves in prevention. This will require that we promote self esteem in one another, understanding, respect with a dose of daily kindness and humility to all we meet, one day at a time.

Marlene Wray

Cowichan Valley


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